Shaddows - 12:48 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)
Personally, I am of the opinion that paid links will NOT get you penalised, no matter who paid for them.
Others seem to think that they WILL get you penalised, no matter who pays.
Fathom is taking a different line- that who initiates the links influences the action taken against those links.
Once you are ranking well in competitive SERPs, link campaigns cannot harm you. You are already being fully evaluated, and any paid links are simply dampened (not necessarily ignored).
By the way, I saw a traffic figure from someone of <20K uniques/month. That is not indicitive of someone ranking well in competitive SERPs, but IS indicitive of the type of site "feeling" penalised for a more objective examination of their link profile.